Sending Office: Honorable Eric Swalwell
Sent By:
andrew.ginsburg@mail.house.gov

 

Request for Cosponsor(s)

Be an Original Cosponsor of the Journalist Protection Act:  Protect Journalists from Violence

Supported by:  Communications Workers of America,
News Media for Open Government

January 16, 2018

 

Dear Colleague:

I urge you to join me as an original cosponsor of the Journalist Protection Act and help protect journalists from violence.

Dating back to the early days of our Republic it has been understood that a free press is necessary for a well-functioning democracy.  That is what the First Amendment recognizes and is designed to protect.

Unfortunately, during his campaign and in office, President Trump has created a climate of extreme hostility to the press by describing mainstream media outlets in ways such as “fake news,” “a stain on America,” and “the enemy of the American People.”  He
even tweeted a GIF of a picture of himself body slamming a person with the CNN logo superimposed on that person’s face.  And right after a terrorist bomb exploded in New York President Trump was busy attacking the media.  He also is spending his time to create
a “Fake News Awards,”
which he says will be awarded tomorrow
.

Such antagonistic communications help encourage others to think, regardless of their views, that violence against people engaged in journalism is more acceptable.  So a reporter is punched in the face for filming anti-racism counter-protestors in Charlottesville,
Virginia, and a Joplin, Missouri blogger is similarly attacked for his providing information about the community.

My Journalist Protection Act represents a clear statement that assaults against people engaged in reporting is unacceptable by making it a federal crime to intentionally cause bodily injury to a journalist affecting interstate or foreign commerce
in the course of reporting or in a manner designed to intimidate him or her from newsgathering for a media organization.  This bill also helps ensure law enforcement is able to punish those who interfere with newsgathering.

I encourage you to stand up for a free press, the very foundation of our democracy, and cosponsor the
Journalist Protection Act.  If you would like to be an original cosponsor, or if you have any questions, please contact Andrew Ginsburg at
andrew.ginsburg@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

/s

Eric Swalwell

Member of Congress

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